Our 'building at risk' edition
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Dear Clansmen and Clanswomen,

It is sometime since I last communicated with you all. I did promise not to bombard you with newsletters and other mailings, but perhaps this gap has been too long?

The Douglas household has entered Advent with Christmas wreaths and the inevitable Advent calendar, and I write this listening to Christmas music. My daughter, whom some you met during the Clan Gathering, is catching the bus after school and heading into town to do her shopping. Oh! To be so organised!

Meanwhile, I continue to receive a stream of messages through the website and by email bringing details that I can add to the Douglas Archives, and as often as not corrections! Thank you for all of these. It is amazing how often one little nugget of new information links in to earlier research which got bogged down and lay incomplete. Keep them coming!
Yours aye,

Douglas Support

I visited the estate of Douglas Support recently, at the request of a local support group which is seeking to protect this piece of Douglas heritage.

The estate lies between four major routes and is a 'green lung' for the community. The northern element has already been sliced off by the new M8 motorway, which is under construction. Trees on the remaining part have been felled and there are concerns that parts of the estate are to be developed for commercial or industrial use.

The Viewpark Conservation Group are seeking help drawing up plans to purchase the estate and I was able to bring an expert to the meeting who has agreed to develop a plan for the future. Whether this leads to purchase or some other solution remains to be seen, but deadlines are short.

You can read more on Douglas Support here >>>

The mansion house, pictured above, and all of the buildings on the estate have been demolished over a period of time.
Douglas House

There are several houses, particularly in the United States, named Douglas House. They are, presumably, named after their owners or builders. The one featured is in Lovells Township, Michigan named after Thomas E. Douglas, a merchant and hotelier.

I have been able to identify some of these people but would like help finding the remainder. Any suggestions? Read more>>>
The origins of the Douglas family are lost in the mists of time. It is said that "In the margin, about one-third into The Book of Clan Douglas, Volume III, are written the words: `This is about the time when the Earth began'.
- Mary Murray, nee Mary Douglas, of Earltown

Douglas' Toad

The Douglas' Toad (Pseudophryne Douglasi) is a species of frog in the Myobatrachidae family. It is endemic to Western Australia. Its natural habitats are dry savanna, moist savanna, subtropical or tropical dry shrubland, rivers, freshwater marshes, freshwater springs, and rocky areas.

The frog's back is brown with an orange stripe in the middle of the lower back. It has an orange triangle on the snout. The belly is smooth and mottled black and white. Length is typically 30 mm.

Who was the Douglas who had the honour of having a toad named after him?
“If you should meet your ancestors
All standing in a row,
There might be some among them
you would not wish to know.
But here's another question,
Another point of view; —
If you should meet your ancestors,
Would they be proud of you?”

               — by J & L Hodgins
Heritage at risk
This edition features some of the Douglas properties that are at risk.

Mausoleum appeal

The Monteath Douglas Mausoleum is a grand Victorian monument, standing starkly on the skyline in the Scottish Borders near the village of Ancrum, just off the A68. It is semi-derelict, and on the Buildings at Risk Scotland Register.

This magnificent, largely forgotten building is the last resting place of General Sir Thomas Monteath Douglas (1788 - 1868). The entrance is guarded by two life-sized stone lions, one awake and one, curiously, asleep. Inside the building two large, sculpted angels stand guard. Above them a star-studded, domed roof  filters light into the Mausoleum.

Sadly, the star-shaped windows have lost their glass and water penetrates the building.The doors have missing panels allowing access to birds and other wildlife, with the result that the interior is in poor condition.

The Friends of the Monteath Mausoleum are working to restore this important piece of Douglas heritage.
You can find out more here>>>

Cavers Castle on the market - again

Cavers Castle is steeped in history and was most recently the seat of the Douglas family for over 300 years. In its day, the castle was a grand 64 room family residence sitting in grounds in excess of 100,000 acres.

Today, the castle sits in the centre of the approx 10 acre grounds. The grounds contain a large pond to the western extremity, and amongst the woodland to the eastern edge are the remnants of a curling pond.

Once a building of note in the Scottish Borders, all that remains of the Castle are the bricks and mortar of the five storey, south-easterly wing. Some of the walls are up to eleven feet in thickness and detail around fireplaces and cornicing still remain. Existing plans are available proposing the restoration of the Castle to a single dwelling family home.

Buyers are being tempted by the possibility of acquiring the title Baron of Cavers.

Please Note: The castle is a ruin and the image is historical. 

Australian Newsletter

It is always a pleasure to receive newsletters from CDNSA and from CDAA. The latter's popped into my inbox recently, with an interesting selection of articles. I am still struggling with recording the history of the Douglases of Glenbervie, so I was pleased to find more on the family tree. I think we have Jan Shaw, the Association's President, to thank for that article.

Jan is to the right in the photograph above, together with Ken and Jock Douglas and Mary Smith in front of the tomb of the 5th Earl of Douglas in St. Bride's Church in July 2014 at the Douglas Clan Gathering.

To read past copies of the newsletter, visit the website:

Pittendreich Doocot

This Grade A listed doocot forms part of the former Pittendreich estate, once the property of the Douglases of Pittendreich, located at Easter Pittendreich Farm, Elgin, in Scotland. 

c1900, it was reported as having the bloody heart (the crest of the Douglas family), much obliterated, yet decipherable.

Restored 1920 and 1927.(Historic Scotland), no mention of the crest is made in the report. Is it now lost?  The doocot is recorded as a 'building at risk'. You can read more here>>>

A picture is worth a thousand words
And a coat of arms is worth...?

A visitor came to the house today bearing an early Christmas present - a bundle of coats of arms of the Douglas of Mains and Douglas Support families.

Over the past few weeks I have been working with a McDouall building on her family tree, which ties with the Douglases at several points. This coat of arms, depicting the marriage of Walter Douglas of Ferguston to Janet MacDowall was one of them

Walter's arms, on the left, combine those of Nicholas Douglas of Dounteray and his wife Janet Galbraith, from whom he obtained the land of Mains in 1373, with those of MacDowall on the right.

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